What You Can and Can’t Say In Your Google Ad Copy – We Talk All About The Legal Aspects Of Ad Copy
00:43 – Episode Overview
02:47 – Brigit’s Legal Background
04:19 – Importance of Knowing What You Can and Can’t Say in Ads
06:13 – The Do’s and Dont’s of Ad Copies In Terms of Legality
12:41 – Can You Bid on Your Competitor’s Brand?
15:22 – Using Your Competitor’s Brand in Ad Copies
21:55 – What to Do If Someone is Infringing Your Trademark
24:50 – I Haven’t Registered my Trademark, What Can I Do?
27:13 – Trademarks in the Space of SEO
28:32 – Biggest Mistakes that People do in Writing Their Ads
31:31 – Dealing with Negative Reviews
35:14 – Dealing with Trolls Who Might Be A Competitor
41:30 – Learn More About Brigit Rubinstein
What You Can and Can't Say In Your Google Ad Copy - We Talk All About The Legal Aspects Of Ad Copy in PDF
Episode & Guest Overview
I am your host, Ilana Wechsler. And in today’s episode, I’ve got a really interesting topic that we’re going to talk about.
We’re going to talk about the legal aspects of social media marketing, be it search engine marketing, or social media marketing.
And I guess really, we’re going to cover the basics of the legal aspects of it. And I find this is really not talked about very often. And so you know, many people say I just throw up an ad, and people will enter your ecosystem that way.
But in fact, if you do it the wrong way, that can be many legal consequences for doing things the wrong way. So I am by no means a legal expert.
So I’ve invited a very special guest, who is in fact a lawyer and who is in fact, an expert in the legalities around what you can and can’t say in your advertising.
So welcome to today’s episode, Brigit Rubinstein from the Level Up Legal .
Hi, Ilana, thanks so much for inviting me to join your show. Advertising compliance is something that most people don’t find extremely exciting. Exactly.
I work with a lot of clients who have come to us to get their ads reviewed regularly, after facing significant penalties or court action by their competitors.
And there are significant penalties attached to getting it wrong. So it’s really, really important to get on top of your marketing compliance.
Awesome. And that’s really what we want to talk about today. And I kind of want to go through like the basics for somebody who really doesn’t know anything about it.
And so what are the basics that need to know, you know, to sort of get up to speed to some work to some degree.
And also, we’re going to cover people who kind of do know the basics, and what are some also other areas that they need to be aware of before we do get stuck into sort of the nitty gritty about that.
Do you want to give us a little bit of background about the type of work that you do in your in your business? So we can kind of get some context?
Brigit’s Legal Background
So I recently I was involved in corporate law for over 20 years, as an intellectual property lawyer.
And then about three months ago, a colleague and I started our own boutique intellectual property and Consumer Law agency. And we specialize in intellectual property branding, advertising. And we also have developed a product called Adda.
And what we do is we review marketing collateral for small or large companies in highly regulated environments, to ensure that they comply with the Australian Consumer Law or other relevant self regulatory codes, or legislation.
And so I work a lot with marketing teams, in trying to create compliant collateral that’s also creative and engaging, you know, you don’t want to be that lawyer that, you know, kind of destroys the creative process, we understand that the marketing objective is to sell.
And so we try and help people to do that in a way that is legally compliant, but also still effective from a marketing perspective.
Well, that’s fantastic, because it’s really, really important. And it’s like, one of those situations that we you know, we’ve had battles in the past where, you know, you want to say something in your ad copy, because it’s persuasive. And it’s compelling.
But then the legal department stepped up sorry, can’t say,
Absolutely, that’s the challenge.
Importance of Knowing What You Can and Can’t Say in Ads
Exactly. And that’s a real fine balance. So perhaps we can just get started into why this is important. You know, before we kind of get through the what and the how , why why is this really important for people to pay attention to the legalities around what you can and can’t say?
Yeah, so I think there’s four sort of core reasons why people want to really pay attention to legal compliance.
I think the first is that consumer trust is the cornerstone of a brand success at the moment, and you can seriously damage your brand’s integrity. If you, have found to be misleading consumers, it’s obviously very damaging to a brand’s integrity.
Another thing that compliance assists with is, is achieving and maintaining brand consistency and having a consistent messaging throughout your marketing.
I think it’s a competitive advantage, marketing compliance.
And lastly, what we obviously focus on is the significant legal consequences. And I think that, you know, those consequences, people don’t know, it’s not only civil penalties, which can be in 10s of millions of dollars for corporations, or $500,000, and up for individuals.
But there are also civil and criminal penalties for breaches of the Corporations Act, of the Australian Consumer Law.
And we can discuss a few of those in due course, but actually, recently, there’s been a few cases where the regulators have actually taken criminal action against companies for misleading and deceptive advertising practices specifically in the financial services industry.
The Do’s and Dont’s of Ad Copies In Terms of Legality
Wow. Well, that certainly does sound sufficiently scary to me, and I’m sure many of our listeners feel sufficiently scared as well.
So why don’t we go through some of the basics about what business owners or agency owners would need to know? And what I mean by that is like, what are the basics of what you can and you can’t say in let’s say, your Google ads, so those maybe those text ads that you’re running on Google Search.com, What you know, how do you know what you can and can’t say?
Yeah, so I think the core obligations in relation to Google advertising or any kind of advertising, in fact, are, you mustn’t engage in conduct that is likely to mislead or deceive, you must not make false or misleading claims or statements. And those are sort of the Golden truths. And your starting point for everything.
And some basic guidelines, when you’re asking yourself, how do I make sure that my advertising is not likely to mislead or deceive or doesn’t contain false or misleading claims.
And we always tell our clients that the starting point is to put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. And ask yourself, what is the overall impression that’s created by this advertisement?
So it’s not so much about reading line by line and seeing whether literally, it can be supported? You have to look at it as a reasonable consumer would and say, is this ad misleading?
And so for example, what people often don’t understand is that a statement can be true, but also be misleading.
So if you put in a half truth or an emission that can be both true and misleading. I can give you an example, if you’d like.
Yeah, that’d be helpful.
So let’s just say that I sell a 50 grams jar of honey for $50. And my competitor next door sells 100 gram jar of honey for $100.
It would be accurate and truthful for me to say that I sell my honey at half the price of my competitor. But it would be misleading because his is double the size.
Another thing that a lot of clients fall down on is an understanding of disclaimers.
A disclaimer is something that you can use to qualify a statement, or to perhaps explain some of the further details. But you can never use a disclaimer to correct a misleading statement.
Okay, if that makes sense. The you can’t basically hide it in the fine print.
Another thing to remember is that with Google ads, there is no disclaimer generally. So you’ve got to make sure that the ad as it stands in its complete form is not misleading before you have to click through to the next page.
Right. So you can’t sort of have certain ad copy in in the Google ads, for example, but then have the disclaimers and all the qualifiers on the landing page. For example.
You would do that and you can do that. But those disclaimers and qualifiers that are on the next page can’t contradict what stated in the main body.
An example would be you can always say terms and conditions apply. And all your terms and conditions and all of those can be a click away. But if you were to say something along the lines of everybody gets a free pair of shoes when they buy with us today.
You couldn’t then on the one click away page say “only if you spend $100 or more”, because it’s then misleading people on the main ad.
Got it. What about if you’re in the weight loss industry, let’s say, which is obviously a massive industry, where people really want to entice people with some courts sort of guarantee that they will lose X amount of weight in a certain amount of time. What about an industry like that? Or fitness? really, you know?
I think that’s you’ve got to be pretty careful in those industries, not to over promise. Essentially, you cannot make any claim that you cannot substantiate and prove with evidence.
So puffery is okay, in the sense that you could say, you’ll feel better than you have in years, because that’s a bit of a vague statement.
But if you’re going to make a statement that says, lose 10 kilograms in two weeks, you’ve got to make sure that the average reasonable person is going to lose 10 kilograms in two weeks on your product, and that you can substantiate that with evidence.
Okay. Is this somewhere on let’s say, somebody’s listening to this episode, and they, you know, they’re still sort of unsure about, you know, what they can and can’t say, in terms of, maybe it’s a bit sort of vague for their industry.
And there’s so many weird and wonderful industries out there that we all know, is there some way that they can check their ad copy to see if it is okay. You know, I mean, generally, most people want to do the right thing. And so often, mistakes are made inadvertently.
So they actually are a lot of great resources available online that help you break down your obligations in terms of the Australian Consumer Law.
The AAA, also has some great free courses, and other interesting resources that will help you get on top of it. And of course, we offer if you’re producing a high impact campaign, we offer an advertising review service where we will within a 24 hour turnaround time, can review an urgent campaign and just help you work on areas of concern and come up with something compliant.
But there are definitely a number of online resources that are valuable. And Ilana, will you put those?
Yeah, I can put a link in the show notes to that A A and A, did you say it was a government website? And obviously, that’s the DIY option, or that’s obviously an area that you have service that you offer for your clients.
Can You Bid on Your Competitor’s Brand?
Awesome. Okay. So what about a really common question that I get asked is, as an advertiser, can I bid on my competitors name as a keyword that we’re going to get to later, it can use in the ad copy. But there’s two parts to this.
The first part is let’s say, you know, someone’s in the in weight loss space, and they want to bid on the keyword weightwatchers. For example, can they do that, are they gonna get in trouble?
Yeah. So I get this question a lot as well. Obviously, if you bid on your competitors trademark, Registered Trademark, what will happen is you can potentially rank above them in sponsored ads. Is that true? Ilana? Sorry?
Absolutely. It’s true. And sorry, I was just gonna say like, one. One case study I always seem to use in presentations. And this is, I find it only happens in Australia doesn’t happen in America.
But you know, we all know that the online pizza companies are at war with each other Pizza Hut and Domino’s. And if I if I do open a search for Pizza Hut, on Google, I’ll see Domino’s Pizza is advertising and not only are they advertising, they’re offering a 30% discount.
So um, yeah, I guess, can Domino’s Pizza get in trouble for that?
Yeah. So I mean, obviously, the competitors aren’t going to like it. But and there has been a couple of lawsuits around it because obviously the competitors raised that it was trademark infringement. You’re using my Registered Trademark to advertise your goods.
And so there has been a couple of cases around that. And our courts have actually found that because the keyword is not visible to consumers. They have found that isn’t trademark infringement, you’ve got to use your, you’ve got to use the word as a trademark to infringe someone else’s registered mark.
And if no one can see it, the courts have found that that’s not trademark use. So as long as it’s invisible, you can bid on your competitors registered trademark.
Using Your Competitor’s Brand in Ad Copies
Got it? And that sort of leads into the second part of the question of, can you use their Registered Trademark or brand name in the ad copy? And my guess would be no.
Well, your guess is partially right.
So, again, to explain what trademark use is, it’s when you use a registered trademark as a signifier of your goods or services.
So I’m going to give you an example of how you can use your competitors trademark in your in your ads in your sponsored ad copy and how you can’t.
Okay, so to stick with fast food, let’s go with Nando’s and Red Rooster. So Red Rooster purchases Nando’s as a key, I mean bids on Nando’s as a keyword. And also in its advertising.
As you search for Nando’s the first thing you see is a big Nando’s sign. And then you click on Nando’s and you get taken through to Red Roosters Chicken. Yeah, that would be trademark infringing, and definitely would land them in hot water.
But if they were to use the Nando’s trademark as a keyword, when you open the ad, if it said, Are you sick and tired of Nando’s, come to Red Rooster, that would actually be okay. That wouldn’t be infringing.
So I think the test is our customers going to be confused as to who’s actually selling the chicken.
Then the first example, they’re going to think they’re going through to a Nando’s website, and they’re going to be confused when they arrive at Red Rooster. They may think, oh Nando’s now affiliated with Red Rooster, have they purchased Red Rooster.
So if there’s any customer confusion along those lines, that’s a good indicator that it’s likely to be problematic.
In the second example, they’re being really cheeky Red Rooster, but they’re not infringing Nando’s trademark, because they’re not using it to indicate that that’s the source of their chicken. If that makes sense.
That does make sense. And in fact, I had a client in a super competitive space of the, I guess, home delivered meals type thing when I think like a competitor to Youfoodz.
Most of our Australian listeners will be aware of Youfoodz. And I saw a very, very cheeky ad by a competitor to Youfoodz, where they were saying they somehow because of the the name of the business is you and food they somehow incorporated that in their ad copy.
But I think in a very misleading and deceptive way. And I just wonder if that got them in hot water. I don’t remember the exact ad copy. But they they use you and food together obviously with the space between it but they were bidding on the brand Youfoodz.
Yes, that happens all the time. And it often can be quite a fine line. We’ve spoken about trademark infringement.
But actually, there’s also what we haven’t discussed and should mention is you can’t reach the Australian Consumer Law on those ads either. So if you use the trademark in a way that’s confusing to consumers, but not trademark infringement, it may still be misleading and deceptive conduct in terms of the Australian Consumer Law.
And in many ways, that’s even a more significant risk. Because if there’s trademark infringement, you know, you have a fight with a competitor, you can potentially take the advertising down, urgently, and try and resolve the matter.
But if you infringe Australian Consumer Law, then you face penalties you now your a corporation of up to $10 million per offense.
So you’ve got to be careful. And in fact, there’s just been a case now where Employsure structured their entire sponsored Google advertising around Fair Work.
So that everyone thought that they were actually affiliated, it didn’t even put the Employsure website all the way through, you know, the whole customer journey, they would enter Fair Work, this ad would come up they wouldn’t see Employsure, they would see more fair trade, click through think they’re going through to a government website and even get the advice thinking that it’s, you know, a government body but it was actually a private body Employsure. So they would want to be misleading and deceptive and pay the substantial penalty.
Wow. Well, I mean, that sounds like fair enough like they were definitely doing the wrong thing knowingly and….
….Absolutely. Another way that people try and and use trademarks, which is perfectly legitimate is that if someone has got a descriptive name as a trademark, let’s say for example, Teach Traffic is your name. And you register a trademark, which I hope you have done, Ilana
Brigit, you’re helping me with that. (laughs)
And so once you’ve registered your trademark, you can prevent anyone else from using that brand name.
But if somebody wanted to say, a competitor wanted to take an ad and writes, come to us, and we’ll help you teach traffic, well, we’ll teach you traffic, they would be able to do that, on the basis that they’re simply describing their services, as opposed to using the trademark as a badge of origin or as a sort of indicator of the source of the services, if that makes sense.
Yeah, got it.
And there’s a lot of that, because I think Google responds really well to names like, especially I’ve seen it, for example, in the appliance industries, or the plumbers, you’ve got people that are named Sydney Plumbers or Sydney’s largest plumbers, or West Sydney Plumbers.
And so then it gets really, really complicated because often they do have registered trademarks, because they’ve been trading for 20 years, they’ve built up the reputation. But everyone’s using it in their Google ads, and gets away with it on the basis that it’s descriptive of what they do. And I think it is confusing for consumers.
What to Do If Someone is Infringing Your Trademark
Yeah. Interesting. That kind of leads me actually into my next question, which is, let’s say, you know, let’s just take my business, for example, we used it and somebody is using teach traffic somewhere in the ad copy, what would some, what’s the next step for somebody like me to do where I realize this is going on?
Or some one of our listeners sees one of their competitors, kind of really overstepping the line in terms of using their brand? What do they then do? Like how do they then approach someone?
So our view is always that you start off with an intellectual property protection policy, don’t wait until that happens.
So have a clear policy in place. We always advise our clients not to send their own letter to the other side.
And there’s a number of reasons for that which I can talk you through briefly.
Try to get lawyers to send a cease and desist letter immediately. And as soon as possible. The reason why you don’t want to be sending that letter on your own. And I often see that it happens people sort of name and shame on Instagram and things like that.
The first thing is that in terms of the trademarks act, it’s actually you’re prohibited from making unjustified threats of trademark infringement. So it may look like trademark infringement to you.
But in the example that you and I discussed Ilana, where it may be someone’s incorporated your mark into the copy, it may not be trademark infringement, and you then could potentially be liable for damages if you accused them of trademark infringement. And it’s not, that’s the first thing.
The second thing is that you want to be really clear and accurate, in terms of what it is you’re saying the person is doing, and what you expect from them to do, because that’s really your foundation of any further legal action that you take.
So in general, what we would do is we would send a cease and desist letter, which would explain exactly what it is that they’re doing that’s unlawful and setting out our requirements for compliance.
So removing the ad. Generally, we take a commercial approach in the sense that if you haven’t suffered damages, go for a commercial solution, which is really to just get the person to stop using your trademark as soon as possible.
And we also have a view that you shouldn’t really allow you see someone that’s potentially not really a big competitor. Don’t let that slip under the rugs. Because if you don’t sort of zealously protect your intellectual property, especially if you’re online, it can really get out of hand quickly.
I Haven’t Registered my Trademark, What Can I Do?
Let’s say some one of our listeners is listening to this and that that’s happened to them but they haven’t registered their brand like they’re not trademark did. They have any leg to stand on them?
Yeah, they definitely do. So a registered trademark is really helpful in the sense that as soon as it’s registered, there’s a law which you can rely on, which says, I own this, you’re not allowed to use it.
But if you haven’t got a registered trademark, you can still argue that you’ve built up a substantial reputation or goodwill, in your unregistered trademark in your name.
And that people are potentially confusing consumers by using a similar name to relate to their goods. So that would be misleading and deceptive conduct in terms of the Australian Consumer Law. And also potentially passing off.
And what that really means is that someone can’t, you know, let’s say you spent years and significant resources, building up a brand, someone is not allowed to kind of hop onto your ride on your reputation by using a similar brand to get business.
Even if they haven’t registered a trademark, which they should, by the way, and they should use your services.
But often, you know, it’s the kind of situation and I know, I found myself in this situation where, you know, you start a business, and you don’t really know how it’s gonna go.
And suddenly, the months turn into years, and before you know what you’ve been running for years. And then yeah, like you’ve built up this reputation along the way, and you just something kind of haven’t got around to doing.
It’s just interesting to know if, if that’s your situation, do they have actually a leg to stand on if they hadn’t kind of set up the foundations earlier?
Yeah, they definitely do. It’s different in the sense that you have to actually provide quite a bit of evidence of your reputation of how you’ve used the mark over the years, you’ve got to show that there’s a likelihood of customer confusion.
So it is definitely more onerous than trademark, and then a trademark infringement claim. But so you do have rights, and all those years under your belt will benefit you even in a trademark application.
Yeah. So okay, is there anything else that people need to be aware of, if they’re sort of running, you know, Google ads, and they’re in a competitive space with lots of people who’ve got trademark?
Trademarks in the Space of SEO
If not, it’s not entirely related to Google advertising. But I think it’s interesting from an SEO perspective, and what we’re talking about with using competitors registered trademarks, interestingly enough, although you can use your competitors Registered Trademark as a keyword, you can’t actually use it as a meta tag, funnily enough on your website.
And the courts that’s based on a court decision, the court found that if you know where to look, you know how to read the coding of someone’s website, and therefore their trademark is potentially viewable to consumers and may constitute trademark infringement. That is an interesting judgment.
Biggest Mistakes that People do in Writing Their Ads
I guess it’s a evolving space as the web evolves, and people are sort of really still navigating this this landscape.
What are some of the biggest mistakes that you see people making in writing their ads? And obviously, it’s that with the lens of how people can avoid making some of the classic mistakes.
Not necessarily in writing their ads, but certainly one of the areas where I see the most confusion and potential infringement is around reviews, getting Google reviews or getting Facebook reviews.
I think people misunderstand how seriously the AAA, which is the regulator takes misleading reviews or how seriously they consider it.
So for example, a lot of people don’t understand Can I give incentives for reviews? Can I say to people, you can have a free nights accommodation at our hotel, if you write us a positive review? That’s a good example. Of what you can’t do.
So yes, you can offer an incentive, but you’ve got to offer the incentive to all customers, those that are likely to be happy or unhappy. And you’ve got to invite them to review honestly. So the incentive shouldn’t be linked in any way to a positive review.
So an example of something you could do is you could say please give us an honest review of your stay at our hotel and enjoy a free cocktail when you leave, that would be totally acceptable.
But I see a lot of people, especially small businesses, they will say things like, please, when you write us a positive review, we’re a new business, we really need the love. That is a no, no.
And if somebody does that, what are the consequences of that?
Yeah, so basically, as the business owner, it’s your responsibility to have that removed, right? And so, A: don’t solicitors and B: if someone does that, even though you haven’t incentivized it like a well meaning friend, which actually happened to our law firm. We said, you know, thank you so much, we really appreciate it. But please remove the review. It has to be authentic and genuine.
And they have to have use your product or service, I would imagine.
Absolutely and if you incentivize people to provide reviews, we always suggest that you disclose it. So just put a small line of copy that says, our customers were rewarded with free cocktails for providing honest feedback on their experience.
A lot of questions we get are around how do we deal with negative reviews.
can we remove them?
Exactly. This is like a whole another world opening up business.
Dealing with Negative Reviews
It really is. And I mean, reviews are really valuable currency for for most small businesses nowadays. So it’s a tricky area.
So with negative reviews, if somebody does write really negative review of your goods or services, I think that you can respond to it, and potentially try and manage it in that way. But you absolutely cannot remove it.
The only basis that you can remove a negative review is if it is potentially misleading. And this would apply to a negative or positive review. So for example, if you make burgers 100% beef burgers, and somebody says on your Facebook page, these were the worst vegan burgers I’ve ever eaten. You do get to remove that because it’s misleading consumers that the burgers are vegan when they’re not.
Okay, but if they said these are the worst burgers?
You just have to cop it. And you know, obviously we always say reply professionally. And I’m trying to mitigate the damage in that way.
But I don’t know if you remember the there was a bit of outcry around Meriton’s review rating manipulations a couple of years ago, I don’t if you know if you’re aware with that.
No, I don’t.
What Meriton and was doing which was really very sneaky, is they had engaged TripAdvisor to collate and collect all email addresses of guests.
And then, you know, display their review and rating which is a powerful way the consumers use TripAdvisor to find hotels.
What they did very sneakily, is that if they had a period where customers were unlikely to be happy, because they were renovations going on at the hotel, etc.
They would literally change the letter or two in those customers, email addresses. So that basically, TripAdvisor would get all the correct email addresses for those customers that had a good time.
And were likely to enjoy their stay, and then obviously couldn’t contact anybody that was likely not to have enjoyed this day because their email addresses were all edited.
And they got found out and apart from paying substantial penalties. I think it was extremely damaging to their reputation.
I’m amazed that they managed to find that out. How would they have found they must have had somebody on the inside?
Possibly an unhappy employee.
That’s how it normally happens.
Yeah. Wow, God, that’s crazy. I mean, we all know, reviews are just so powerful, you know, in the world of social media, where it’s, you know, the treasure throne is the comment section of something and if you you can get endorsements as a comment.
That’s the ultimate. You know, obviously, you know, positive endorsement for your business. But, on the contrary, a negative comment is, is equally as damaging.
So it’s so important, obviously, for that.
I guess some, you have no control about that if they’re sort of going about through third party services that provide reviews like trustpilot, and all those other ones.
Dealing with Trolls Who Might Be A Competitor
One of my final questions for you is, what about a situation where it’s a troll? Like somebody who’s actually not a customer who’s? Well, they kind of, you know, it’s like, it’s like an attack on your business where it’s a competitor, let’s say, who’s pretending to be a customer and write a negative review. What about a situation like that?
Yeah, that happens all the time.
Recently, I saw someone post on their Facebook page that she was having some sort of disputes, contractual dispute with someone and she had, she was asking her 50,000 followers to leave a one star review on this person’s services page.
So it definitely has been weaponized, that’s for sure.
So you’ve got a number of options. If the person that’s written the comment has left their true identity, which often they do, you can send them a concerns notice, accusing them of defamation, provided that what they’ve said is goes beyond then just the sort of honest opinion.
So recently, there was a defamation case, brought by a lawyer against the opponent party who had put a one star review on the lawyers page, obviously, just out of spite, he wasn’t a client, and he was found liable for defamation and had to pay a substantial amount of damages.
When you aren’t able to identify the person, you would normally every major platform has a complaint policy. And you would then have to flag the review as either defamatory, untrue, you know, unlawful in some way.
And there are I mean, there is often success through that, but not always.
Like, if you can’t prove that that particular person is a customer of yours, like they’ve, they’ve created some false identity, right to put that review. If they’re a competitor, yeah, they’re gonna put their own so they create a false identity. And then could you then look in your own database and say, Well, this false identity, I can’t find in my record, so therefore, this person is not a customer.
Exactly. And then you would raise all of that with let’s say, it’s Google and ask Google to remove it.
As I said, there is definitely there are people that have success with that process, but not consistently.
And you’re sort of final port of call would be to have to actually go to court to get the records from Google to find out who posted the ad. I haven’t seen that happen yet.
I was gonna say, I’ve seen this a lot actually, in the dental space, because I used to sort of a lot in the dental space.
And it’s in Australia, at least, it’s a super competitive industry to be in and you know, there’s like you can have a dental practice opened up down the road from you.
There’s no regulation around, you know, oversaturation. And there’s a lot of fake reviews that are going on, because people know that, you know, if there’s a couple of one star reviews, they’re not going to go there.
So it’s interesting to know that if they can, they’ve got a leg to stand on to get those really one star reviews removed, because it has a significant effect on businesses.
Yeah, I think people are probably becoming a little bit more reluctant to do that. Because there’s been a number of high profile defamation cases recently, there was one where a woman made a false statement about her plastic surgeon.
And I think she was found liable for damages, hundreds of 1000s of dollars for the damage he did to his reputation.
So I think people are cautious. You’re not you’re not completely anonymous on the internet, and no one is. And so there is a way to find out ultimately, who left that preview and people are pursuing it. So I would be cautious While they’re doing that.
That’s encouraging for business owners like yourself and myself, you know, that we actually do have a leg to stand on and you can’t have these keyboard warriors, you know, think there are no consequences for their actions, which is really encouraging.
Reviews are actually an interesting space at the moment because not only are these all these issues around, you know, genuine reviews and whether they’re misleading or deceptive, but actually there’s now been a very interesting defamation case just a couple of weeks ago, where the High Court has found that media publications are responsible for the defamatory comments by third parties on their websites. So it’s definitely going to be an interesting space to watch.
And I’m sure you know as, even in an agency owner whose responsible for many people’s marketing this is an area that really needs to be across on what you can and you can’t, say and do online because there’s a ripple effect on that.
Especially if you have 30 clients and suddenly you’re doing the wrong thing to 30 people.
And really land yourself on a hot water. I think we might wrap around there unless there’s certain area that we didn’t cover over Brigit or we pretty much covered a lot of the basics that people need to know?
I think we covered some of the basics that obviously is a much broader topic….
Maybe we can invite you back on another episode to go more in depth into other areas?
Definitely, one of the areas that definitely be worth discussing is influencer marketing.
That’s the area really under the regulator’s spotlight.
I think that deserves a whole other episode in itself if you’re willing to come back on and I’d love to talk to you about that. As I find more and more businesses are using that form of marketing and obviously paid influencers, etc.
Learn More About Brigit Rubinstein
Brigit, you’ve been a wealth of knowledge.Thank you so much for taking time out of your day. I’m sure you’ve opened our listeners to a world that they hopefully more aware of now but if people want to get your advice and your help where can they find out more information about you and the help that you provide?
Yeah, well we would absolutely love to help. Our website is www.leveluplegal.com.au . We offer a free 30 minute consultation as an introductory calls to just try kinda hone down on what the issues are.
And we also have a number of blog articles dealing issues like this which might be helpful as well.
Awesome, so you help Australian businesses who want to you know the legalities. But do you also help overseas businesses?
Yeah, we basically help Australian businesses and overseas businesses that wanted to sell in Australia. To make sure they comply with the Australian Consumer Law or the relevant legislation that applies to their industry.
Fantastic. Awesome, well I can personally endorse your services Brigit you’re helping me with registering Teach Traffic as trademark so you’ve got my Seal of Approval.
So thank you so much for your help with that and thanks for sharing your knowledge on today’s show and thanks so much for coming on.
Thanks for inviting me, it’s been fun.